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March 22, 2023

CCR: Emergency Ordinance on early elections, unconstitutional

The Constitutional Court of Romania (CCR) admitted on Thursday the notification made by the Ombudsman in relation to the Emergency Ordinance (OUG) 26/2020 on the early elections, establishing that it is unconstitutional.

Constitutional judges say, in a release sent to AGERPRES, that “the provisions of article I point 35 of the Government’s Emergency Ordinance 26/2020, which eliminates the restrictive condition and allows the voter to vote in any polling station, regardless of the constituency where they have their domicile or residence, removing the legal effects that the law in force attributes to some essential elements of exercising the right to vote and the right to be elected of the citizen (domicile and residence), with the consequence of eluding the very purpose for which election constituencies were set up, violates the fundamental rights enshrined in Articles 36 and 37 of the Constitution”.

The CCR also found that the provisions of Article 4, paragraph (1) of OUG 26/2020, which regulates the possibility of simultaneously organising the early parliamentary elections and the general local elections in 2020, violates the citizen’s right to vote, provided by Article 36 of the Constitution, as it puts them in the situation of going through a cumbersome, complicated voting procedure, which may restrict their freedom of expression of political will and, implicitly, the effectiveness of the right to vote.

“The criticized provisions also violate the right of the person to be elected, provided for by Article 37 of the Constitution, because it removes the possibility of a person to run at the same time for a local elective position (mayor, local councilor, county councilor) and for a national elective position (deputy or senator),” specifies the CCR.

Considering that the current Parliament started its mandate following the elections held on December 11, 2016, and, according to the provisions of Article 63 paragraph (1) of the Constitution, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate are elected for a term of four years, the Court remarked that the adoption of the normative act by which amendments to the law regarding the election of the Parliament of Romania are brought was made less than a year before the elections it regulates.

The decision is final and generally binding and is communicated to the two Houses of Parliament, the Government and the Ombudsman.

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